Should secret be a privacy-as-a-service layer, a thriving L1 on its own, or both?

Title – tagging @guy who said he had extensive thoughts on this

1 Like

The answer is both, for several reasons.

Secret is a legitimate L1 in Cosmos. This means that it currently (especially with the coming upgrades) has generally-speaking the best mix to build decentralized applications on:

  • One of the best/fastest proof-of-stake/BFT based consensus engines
  • Interoperability with all of Cosmos using IBC, which significantly reduces the trust model
  • Integration to EVM ecosystems and others like Monero, Bitcoin through custom bridges, some of which will soon be replaced with more industry standard solutions
  • The most centralized exchanges/on-ramp/off-ramps for a smart contract chain in Cosmos

All of these alone already put Secret in a great position to be a prominent layer 1 that people build on. In fact, why build anywhere else?

When you then add the native privacy aspect, that really expands what you can do with each application. I still believe that over time, people will realize that they can do more with privacy, in any kind of application, even for those it isn’t top of mind. All the more reason to invite and help people build natively on Secret, today, even if they don’t yet value privacy.

But wait, Guy, why can’t they just build elsewhere and then plug into Secret?

They can, for sure (well, in a few months when we have general purpose messaging bridges and everyone’s connected to them). But Secret (and Cosmos as a whole) are still small in comparison to the rest of the Web3 ecosystem (not to mention the Web2 ecosystem). Awareness is important, as are clear showcases that Secret works and is being used.

As a developer, would I prefer to integrate with Secret if it’s relatively unknown, untested, has a small audience, etc…, even if it has a superior solution in terms of privacy? Most devs won’t even get through the door that way.

Any developer puts weight on objective metrics – CMC/CG rank first and foremost, then things more specifically to what they do – depth of liquidity, number of projects building, NFT sales stats, etc… No one wants to be a guinea pig.

Having a strong, foundational layer 1 is critical to making Secret the privacy-as-a-service layer too. If it doesn’t prove itself as a strong, standalone L1, I doubt we will be able to reach that vision either.

Other considerations for Secret being a strong L1

So far the argument has mainly been that for Secret to succeed as a privacy-as-a-service layer, it also needs to succeed as a L1. This doesn’t mean Secret can only exist if it’s the number #1 L1 out there (I still believe we can and should aspire to that, but it’s not a necessity), but it still needs to be strong enough to have a functioning ecosystem for privacy-aware projects.

We’re already seeing it right now. Projects like Shade, Alter, Jackal and Alter all came/started within Secret as community projects built by people who share the same privacy values we do. Each of these projects could become a HUGE part of the internet, and alone push Secret to the forefront. But for them and many others to succeed, they need the basic web3 stack that any project relies on:

  1. A launchpad to get initial funding/community. A privacy-aware project would likely want to tap into the most privacy-aware community in web3, which is Secret.

  2. Deep enough liquidity within the same network for their token

  3. Yield opportunities that interconnect with other similarly spirited tokens (including SCRT itself). This helps because these projects often share a community and holder base

etc…

TL;DR Secret’s vision remains to be the privacy-as-a-service layer for all of Web3 (and basically, the internet!). The road to getting there does rely on Secret becoming a powerful L1 in its on right. Unlike others, we don’t need to be the biggest or strongest L1 (although I believe we can be), but being ‘strong enough’ is critical and a stepping stone towards our vision.

14 Likes

Yes, absolutely both.

Wise words! Thank you for sharing your vision for Secret. Regarding points 1. 2. and 3. mentioned (launchpad, liquidity and yields), what is being worked on for the medium and long term?